Monday, 19 November 2018

Beer zoning ends

Beer zoning - supplying tied houses from a closer rival brewery - ended after a little less than threee years in March 1946.

I'm sure that brewers were happy to be able to supply their own houses again. And drinkers must have been pleased to have a better choice of beer locally.

"BEER ZONING ENDS MARCH 2
Back to Favourite Brews

"Evening Post" Reporter
There is good news to-day for beer-drinkers — beer zoning will end on March 2.

From that date breweries and public-houses everywhere will resume rormal relations. Breweries will send supplies their own "tied" houses, and will supply "free" houses which were accustomed to take their beer.

Beer zoning came into operation August, 1943, and immediately attained Its object — that of economising road and rail transport. Brewery companies arranged among themselves districts which each could supply with the minimum use transport. One company's licensed houses in a town some distance from their brewery would be taken over en bloc by another firm better placed geographically.

For instance, zoning dealt effectively if somewhat arbitrarily, with Tadcaster beers, which were sent to Bradford, and Bradford beers, which were supplied to Leeds. That situation was dealt with by diverting the Tadcaster beers to the houses of the Bradford firm in Leeds, and the Bradford firm took over the Bradford houses which had been supplied with Tadcaster beer."
Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 23 January 1946, page 5.

It seems that beer zoning wasn't always that logical.The brewery chosen as a replacement supplier wasn't necessarily the closest.

For those who don't know the geography of Yorkshire well, Tadcaster is about 25 km Northeast of Leeds, while Bradford is 10 km due West of Leeds.

Tadcaster is a small town that was home then to three substantial breweries: John Smiths, Sam Smiths and the Tower Brewery. Surprisingly, all are still in operation. Leeds, obviously had Tetley, but also Melbourne. And in Bradford there was Hammonds and Heys. All had substantial tied states.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Birthday surprise

For a mere 25 euros, you can have a bespoke homebrew recipefor a beer originally brewed on your birthday.

Just click the new button on the left with the label "Birthday recipe".

I'll supply you not only with a bespoke recipe, but also a few hundred words of text describing the beer and an image of the original brewing record. All for just 25 euros.

Let me know any style or era preferences you have, as I've a wide range of options for any date. Though if you were born in January, July or October, you'll have a wider choice, as I've photographed more records for those months. Don't ask me why.

It'll make the perfect birthday or Christmas present for the brewer you love. And for just 25 euros. Bargain.

A reminder

That my new book on brewing in WW I. Is available to buy.  Now with the proper cover.

I left it a bit late asking Alexei to do the cover and it wasn't ready when I wanted to publish. So I used an emergency cover instead. You must agree that Alexei's is pretty cool. Well, I'm dead happy with it.

It's full of all my usual rubbish. Endless tables and lots and lots of recipes. Almost 400 in total. Easily the best book ever on the subject. Especially if you brew.

 Buy this wonderful book.




Bass Pale Ale in WW II

Splitting apart UK Pale Ale and IPA is problematic, if not impossible. Whatrever style nazis might have you believe. There was little consistency in how brewers used the two terms. At some breweries IPA was the stronger beer. But at others, especially in London, the Pale Ale was the stronger of the two.

This meant that there was a very wide spread in the strength of IPA, ranging from little over 1030º to well over 1050º. The effect of the war was, as with all other styles, to reduce gravities. But not in a very consistent way, as you’ll see in a moment.

One of the few places where something like full-strength 19th-century type IPA continued to be brewed was, unsurprisingly, Burton-on-Trent. Which was home to the most famous IPA breweries, Bass, Worthington and Allsopp, though the latter’s star had considerably faded since the start of the century.

When the war started, there were Pale Ales of 1050º plus, especially in London. But the war soon put paid to that. Not at Bass, though, where bottled Bass Pale Ale continued to be brewed at pre-war strength.

By 1944, Bass had only shed a couple of gravity points. That’s quite unusual. Most beers of a similar strength had either had their gravities slashed or simply been discontinued. I’m not sure how Bass managed this. Probably by curtailing production of some of their other beers.

Another thing that remained constant was the very high degree of attenuation, mostly well over 80%. At around 6% ABV, it must have been one of the strongest beers available during the later war years, when average gravity was in the mid or low 1030ºs.

Bottled Bass Pale Ale during WW II
Year Price per pint OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1940 15 1055.8 1007 6.39 87.46%
1941 1054.2 1007.8 6.07 85.61%
1941 1056 1008 6.28 85.71% 20 Brown
1941 18 1054.9 1008.6 6.05 84.34%
1942 1054.6 1010.4 5.77 80.95%
1942 1054.3 1010.7 5.68 80.29%
1943 1054.5 1011.2 5.64 79.45% 24
1944 23 1053.3 1007 6.06 86.87% 17
Sources:
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Let's Brew - 1939 Barclay Perkins IPA

One for the style purists today: a typical Southern English IPA.

Just a few months before WW II kicked off, in June 1939, this Barclay’s IPA rolled out of the Park Street Brewery. Well, probably not roll, more clink out. It was an exclusively bottled beer.

IPA (bottling) as it appear on the records, was apparently quite a new beer, only appearing in the early 1930s. A revved up version of the older XLK (bottling), which had an OG of 1039º. The two, obviously, were parti-gyled together.

The recipe for Barclay’s Perkins Pale Ales hadn’t changed much since the mid-1920s. Pale malt, PA malt, flaked maize and invert sugar. Originally No. 2, but sometime after 1936 that changed to No. 3. Along with the caramel, it makes for quite a dark beer. Darker than it should be. The log gives the colour as 10.

The hopping is reasonable, with mostly hops from the most recent season. The third from the 1937 season had been kept in a cold store, so wouldn’t have deteriorated much. Barclay Perkins usually dry-hopped their Pale Ales, except those intended for bottling.

Sad to think this is the precursor to watery post-war Light Ale.


1939 Barclay Perkins IPA
pale malt 7.00 lb 72.77%
flaked maize 1.00 lb 10.40%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.50 lb 15.59%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.12 lb 1.25%
Fuggles 150 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1044
FG 1013.5
ABV 4.03
Apparent attenuation 69.32%
IBU 29
SRM 17
Mash at 150º F
After underlet 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 150º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Friday, 16 November 2018

It's that time of year again

I love working 80%. I get every Friday off. Brilliant. A whole day with nothing to do.

Not that I do nothing. A god time to be getting on with all the crap I can't be arsed to do in the evening. Yoday, that meant rattling off my seasonal book, Yule Logs!!!!! The one without any words, just pictures of brewing records. Very saucy.

This is the earliest I've ever had it finished. Usually I have to rush it at the last minute. It took way longer than expected to upload. 40 minutes to upload the source file each time. I say each time because twice one of the images was buggered up.The another 10 minutes for the file to be formatted by Lulu and me to down load the pdf to check.

For fucking ever it took. I'd never have got it done in the evening.

Three cheers for working part time. And buy the book. The perfect lmited-edition Chistmas present for any beer obsessive. Or one of my many other books.







Beer zoning

Remember me mentioning in the comments the recipe for 1916 Barclay Perkins XLK (Watney), that during WW II brewery's supplied each other's pubs to save on transport? Beer zoning is what it was called.

And here are some more details:

"Questions on Beer Zoning
"Evening Post" Reporter
Speculation is rife as to what may happen when the details of the Beer Zoning Scheme have been hammered out by the Ministry of Food in collaboration with the brewers.

As outlined In "The Yorkshire Evening Post" last night, the aim of the authorities is two-fold: to avoid long-distance haulage and secure fairer distribution. To this end, the country is being divided into regions, Yorkshire being allotted six areas, with Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and York (for the East Riding) the principal centres.

Brewers whom I consulted to-day were unable to throw any light what is likely to happen. The whole situation is honeycombed with question marks.

In the first place, is conservation of transport intended apply only to road haulage, to save petrol and rubber, does the term embrace rail facilities?

This is important, having regard, for example, to the demand for Burton and Edinburgh beer in Leeds and other West Riding centres, and to the popularity some of the Yorkshire firms' products in Blackpool during the hollday season.

Again, will Leeds brewers, who have a considerable interest at stake, be debarred from continuing to send supplies to their own licensed houses Bradford, and vice-versa? On this point, an authority in the trade told me he did not consider likely that a semi-local arrangement of this character would be upset.

The position as it affects bottled beers and stouts, brewed outside the County, also would appear to be in conslderable doubt. All that is certain regards Leeds is that the Leeds taste tor local beverages — and the term "local" can include Tadcaster ale — will let alone."
Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 03 February 1943, page 6.

Interesting how the distinction was being made betwen road and rail transport. Hoping one wouldn't be affected, really. I suspect draught Bass remained nationally available. Guinness surely was. My guesss would be that zoning was particularly aimed at draught beer, which is where most of the weight was. Especially during the war when production of bottled beer was restricted by things like a shortage of bottles.

More to come on beer zoning.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Joining the dots

A lot of my research is about pulling information together from different sources. Nailing together two sets of information to produce something more useful than either of its constituent parts.

I sometimes wonder what I would have done had I not discovered the Whitbread Gravity Book. It's so packed full of information on other company's beers. Truly a wonderful resource. But there are other Gravity Books, too. Truman, William Younger and Thomas Usher all had ones of their own. Albeit not on quite as grand a scale as Whitbread's. They do provide extra information. Especially in the case of the latter two on Scottish beer.

I came across this price list from the Northampton Brewing Company while performing one of my regular trawls through the newspaper archive looking for "Mild Ale". A strange hobby, but a harmless one.


It's unusual in that in features a bottled Mild Ale, something that wasn't very common. Mild was rarely available in bottled form, though often because it was sold under a different name such as Family Ale or Brown Ale. Though that can't be the case here, as the Brown Ale costs 1d more a pint.

Now this is where I'd be stumped without the Whitbread Gravity Book. What were the relative strengths of Northampton Brewery's Mild Ale and Brown Ale? No problem.

Northampton Brewery, Bass and Worthington 1932 - 1940
Year Brewer Beer Price per pint OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1932 Northampton Brewery Brown Ale 1038 1009.8 3.66 74.21%
1935 Northampton Brewery Pale Ale 1032 1008.2 3.08 74.37%
1935 Northampton Brewery Mild Ale 1032 1008.9 2.99 72.19%
1935 Northampton Brewery Jumbo Stout 1043 1024 2.43 44.19%
1950 Northampton Brewery IPA 1046.2 1012.4 4.39 73.16%
1940 Bass Pale Ale 9d 1051.6
1940 Worthington Pale Ale 9d 1055.1
Sources:
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

The Brown Ale was quite a bit stronger than the mild Ale, as you can see. What of their other beers? Jumbo Stout is easy, as I have an analysis from about the right date. For IPA, though, I only have one from after the war. But, by looking at that and the BAss and Worthington analyses, I reckon I can make a good guess: low 1050ºs.

I'd expect it to be about the same strength as the Burton versions, as it's just a hlfpenny cheaper for a half pint. Bass and Worthington always sold at a premium price. If you're wondering why the ones in the table are so much cheaper than the ones in the price list, there's a simple explanation. The table has draught versions.

Jumbo Stout, despite it's reasonable OG looks like awful value for money due to the crap degree of attenuation. Which leaves it not really intoxicating.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Adnams X Ale

Adnams Mild ended WW I pretty weak. And it didn’t get much stronger, rising from 1026º in 1921 to 1029º in 1923. Where it remained until the outbreak of the next war.

That’s quite a contrast with London, where most Mild Ales between the wars were either 6d beers at around 1043º or 5d beers at around 1037º. Adnams had clearly gone for a 4d beer. Mild Ales of this strength did exist London, but were brewed in tiny quantities. Adnams Mild increased in gravity sometime after WW II, being 1032-1034º in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The grist, with three different types of malt is more complex than in most Mild Ales of the period. It’s also quite dark. Mild only really went dark brown between the wars. But not all Milds. There were still pale and semi-dark versions.

All I know about the hops is that they were English. There’s no record of the variety of year of harvest in the log, unfortunately. I’ve guessed Fuggles.

Through the use of an underlet, effectively a step mash was performed. There are no details of how long the mash was left to rest between the original strike and the underlet. From what I’ve seen at other breweries, this could be between 25 and 90 minutes.


1939 Adnams XX
mild malt 5.00 lb 79.24%
crystal malt 80 L 0.25 lb 3.96%
amber malt 0.25 lb 3.96%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 11.89%
caramel 5000 SRM 0.06 lb 0.95%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1029
FG 1006
ABV 3.04
Apparent attenuation 79.31%
IBU 15
SRM 24
Mash at 148º F
After underlet 156º F
Sparge at 163º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Beer or wine

Remember the table in my last post? Obviously not. No-one remembers anything nowadays. Especially me.

I wouldn't be able to remember what I had for breakfast. If I didn't have the same thing every day. Cheese toastie. Today with Emmenthaler. Usually old Gouda. I'm rambling. On with business.

Here's the table I'm going to refer back to. It'll make things easier for us all.

UK Excise and customs revenue from alcoholic drink (£ millions)
Beer Wine Spirits
Year UK Imports total UK Imports total UK Imports total Duty Receipts in Total
1937 57.3 5.4 62.7 0.5 5.1 5.6 31.4 4.8 36.2 104.5
1938 61.2 4.5 65.7 0.5 5.0 5.5 31.1 4.8 35.9 107.1
1939 62.4 3.2 65.6 0.5 4.8 5.3 30.9 4.7 35.6 106.5
1940 75.2 3.6 78.8 0.9 5.7 6.6 34.5 6.2 40.7 126.1
1941 133.5 5.6 139.1 1.6 7.8 9.4 33.9 11.6 45.5 194.0
1942 157.3 7.3 164.6 1.1 3.8 4.9 31.0 15.7 46.7 216.2
1943 209.6 8.0 217.6 1.7 2.4 4.1 49.4 18.2 67.6 289.3
1944 263.2 6.4 269.6 2.1 2.3 4.4 59.6 17.2 76.8 350.8
1945 278.9 8.9 287.8 2.0 2.5 4.5 50.1 13.5 63.6 355.9
1946 295.3 10.8 306.1 2.2 5.0 7.2 51.2 16.9 68.1 381.4
1947 250.4 9.4 259.8 2.2 10.8 13.0 51.6 24.9 76.5 349.3
1948 264.1 9.9 274.0 3.4 15.6 19.0 40.7 42.7 83.4 376.4
1949 294.7 12.6 307.3 3.8 15.7 19.5 46.7 44.1 90.8 417.6
1950 263.1 13.7 276.8 2.8 16.1 18.9 58.7 39.6 98.3 394.0
1951 249.1 13.0 262.1 3.2 18.1 21.3 75.8 38.7 114.5 397.9
1952 248.2 12.7 260.9 3.3 17.5 20.8 67.1 29.9 97.0 378.7
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 380.


Though, if you look at the next table, you’ll see that, while the tax revenue on wine trebled between 1939 and 1948, the quantity consumed had fallen considerably, by more than a third. Beer consumption over the same period was up by a quarter. It must be borne in mind that that beer in 1948 was on average about 10 degrees in gravity weaker than in 1939.


UK Consumption of beer and wine 1937-52 (1,000 gallons)
Imported Wines
Year Beer Heavy Light Sparkling British Wines Total Wines % wine
1937      864,000 11,709 3,950 679 5,690 22,028 2.49%
1938      900,000 31,516 3,623 628 6,144 21,910 2.33%
1939      900,000 11,602 3,062 561 6,418 21,645 2.35%
1940      936,000 11,353 2,572 388 6,916 21,228 2.22%
1941      972,000 10,392 1,730 232 6,408 18,763 1.89%
1942   1,080,000 4,623 752 75 3,957 9,407 0.86%
1943   1,080,000 1,705 264 29 3,100 5,098 0.47%
1944   1,116,000 1,166 508 13 2,898 4,585 0.41%
1945   1,152,000 1,400 227 11 2,735 4,373 0.38%
1946   1,224,000 2,723 464 92 2,921 6,200 0.50%
1947   1,080,000 5,282 1,837 329 2,998 10,445 0.96%
1948   1,116,000 7,098 2,145 383 3,899 13,525 1.20%
1949   1,008,000 5,718 1,282 497 2,961 10,458 1.03%
1950      972,000 5,939 1,667 476 3,662 11,754 1.19%
1951      936,000 6,439 2,684 560 4,450 14,133 1.49%
1952      936,000 6,078 3,234 519 4,672 14,503 1.53%
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 381.

Strange how the imports of sparkling wine collapse between 1942 and 1947. It’s almost as if there was a reason why they couldn’t get hold of champagne.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Booze revenue 1937 - 1952

More numbers. What fun.

It’s no surprise that the money raised from alcohol increased during the war. That’s the way UK governments always financed wars. Alcohol is an easy choice since demand is fairly elastic. The table below shows just how much of that came from beer. And how the percentage raised from beer rose from 60% in 1937 to 80% in 1945 and 1946.

Between 1939 and 1947, the revenue from spirits only just more than doubled. While that from beer quadrupled.

You might have expected the income from imported beer to have totally evaporated at the height of the war. There’s a simple reason it didn’t: Guinness. Which continued to export – with some small interruptions you’ll read about later – large quantities of beer to the UK.

There’s an impressive surge in imported wine revenue after 1947. Way higher than the pre-war level.

Please ponder the numbers. As I can't be arsed to explain everything. Stare long enough and they'll make some sort of sense. Or you'll fall into a zombie-like state. That's me most evenings. Get home, staring then zombieing.

UK Excise and customs revenue from alcoholic drink (£ millions)
Beer Wine Spirits
Year UK Imports total UK Imports total UK Imports total Duty Receipts in Total
1937 57.3 5.4 62.7 0.5 5.1 5.6 31.4 4.8 36.2 104.5
1938 61.2 4.5 65.7 0.5 5.0 5.5 31.1 4.8 35.9 107.1
1939 62.4 3.2 65.6 0.5 4.8 5.3 30.9 4.7 35.6 106.5
1940 75.2 3.6 78.8 0.9 5.7 6.6 34.5 6.2 40.7 126.1
1941 133.5 5.6 139.1 1.6 7.8 9.4 33.9 11.6 45.5 194.0
1942 157.3 7.3 164.6 1.1 3.8 4.9 31.0 15.7 46.7 216.2
1943 209.6 8.0 217.6 1.7 2.4 4.1 49.4 18.2 67.6 289.3
1944 263.2 6.4 269.6 2.1 2.3 4.4 59.6 17.2 76.8 350.8
1945 278.9 8.9 287.8 2.0 2.5 4.5 50.1 13.5 63.6 355.9
1946 295.3 10.8 306.1 2.2 5.0 7.2 51.2 16.9 68.1 381.4
1947 250.4 9.4 259.8 2.2 10.8 13.0 51.6 24.9 76.5 349.3
1948 264.1 9.9 274.0 3.4 15.6 19.0 40.7 42.7 83.4 376.4
1949 294.7 12.6 307.3 3.8 15.7 19.5 46.7 44.1 90.8 417.6
1950 263.1 13.7 276.8 2.8 16.1 18.9 58.7 39.6 98.3 394.0
1951 249.1 13.0 262.1 3.2 18.1 21.3 75.8 38.7 114.5 397.9
1952 248.2 12.7 260.9 3.3 17.5 20.8 67.1 29.9 97.0 378.7
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 380.